While the first season of Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale ended back in June, we're still thinking about the finale — not just because of the serious cliffhanger, but because of the loss of Tom Petty. You may have missed it, but the singer, who passed away on Monday at just 66-years-old, had a huge influence on those final moments. His classic song "American Girl" played during Offred's march towards her unknown — and possibly deadly — future, ending the season on a hugely powerful note.
Variety spoke to executive producer Bruce Miller, who was in charge of making that musical choice, about the importance of that choice, especially now in light of the singer's passing. Turns out, Miller had his kids to thank for the inspiration.
"They listen to [Petty] like it was new music," Miller told the outlet of his children. "They listen to everything on Spotify and streaming services so they don’t have a sense of when it came out. They just listen to stuff they like."
So it was already in his brain when he watched the final cut of the finale, and he knew no other song would do it justice.
"It was the only time in the show where we wanted to make a direct link between Offred and the country that disappeared beneath her feet," he continued. "It’s such a complicated, mournful story. 'American Girl' paints a real picture of a real person. I thought it worked perfectly."
Once he had the idea, he wouldn't settle for anything less. Luckily, he didn't have to.
"I would have gotten on the phone with anyone to beg for permission," he added. "I’m thrilled we got a 'yes.'"
It's safe to say the season, and our world, wouldn't be the same without his music.